Friday, February 8, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 7- I Know What is Meat

For your information mom, I know what is meat. In fact, I am an expert on meat. I eat and sleep meat. Chicken wings are meat, lamb is meat, oxtail is meat, and cheese is meat. Pills and supplements are not meat and I refuse to eat them. So stop trying to bury them within my raw meat to trick me into consuming them. I will find them and spit them out. No matter how far you shove them down my throat and massage my neck, I will not swallow them. I eat the raw meat diet for a reason, the reason being that I am a wild animal consuming what I was meant to in nature. If I was in the wild, I would be hunting down squirrels and eating them, biting wings off chickens, and sneaking up on oxen and eating their tails off. Mom, I guess I am okay with eating the veggies you give me as long as you continue to blend them up to resemble the stomach of a kill I made in the wild, but forget about me eating supplements. I mean, how many wild animals do you know that hunt fish oil pills? Whoa, there's a juicy digestive enzyme running up that tree that looks tasty, maybe I'll chase after it! I'm a wild animal, so stop it with the supplements.

bro's notes from the feasting cage:
Whether or not your human supplements your food is a personal choice that they need to make. Tell your person to do their research, consult your doctor, and take into consideration any medical needs you may have before proceeding with these additions. Some people choose to give quite a few extras, while some choose not to give any at all. The following is meant to act as a foundation to give your human a jump start on their supplementation education.

Supplementing your diet:


Fish oil is an excellent source of Omega-3s, EPA and DHA. A good rule of thumb when searching for an oil is to find one that offers 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA per capsule, as this is a good ratio of the two. One capsule can be given daily per 10-20lbs of dog. As this oil is a very unstable substance, light and oxygen can significantly effect the quality of the supplement. It is recommended that your human purchase the pills or capsules, instead of th oil in a bottle. They can give you either a whole capsule, or poke a hole to break the pill and release the appropriate amount of oil for your daily ration.

(Note: Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to have anti-inflammatory qualities and may actually reduce or slow the growth of tumors.)

Olive oil is high in Omega-6s, and some choose to add a touch of this to their pet's food. Omega-6s, however, are generally present in sufficient amounts in the raw diet without needing to be supplemented. It is important to note that Omega-6s can increase inflammation and tumor growth, and too many Omega-6s can "block" proper absorption of the Omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of inactive Omega-3 fatty acids. This means that the body must process this supplement and convert the inactive acids into ELA and DHA that can be processed and absorbed. There is some debate on whether dogs have the enzymes necessary to make this translation possible.


Vitamin E should be given with the fish oil, since it aids in your body's ability to process all of the nutrients it needs from both supplements. E can be added in the amount of 50-100iu per 10lbs of body weight.

Vitamin C can help us cope better with physical and emotional stress, and it also acts as a antioxidant. Some humans choose to supplement vitamin C on a regular basis, while others give lots of C-rich fruits and vegetables in the veggie mix and only add extra vitamin C when we are under stress. This can be supplemented at 250-500mg for every 10lbs, or until bowel tolerance. Bowel tolerance means that it can be supplement in the amount that you can handle before having your tummy get upset. Since vitamin C can cause stomach issues, it is important to introduce the vitamin in small increments to make sure it isn't going to make us sick. Have your human search for C supplements with bioflavanoids.

Vitamin B complex can aid in digestion and help round out a complete diet. Folic acid, part of the B complex, is abundant in fresh meats and isn't as necessary to supplement -- however, if your human does choose to add vitamin B to your diet it is best given as the complex and not as a singular B vitamin (such as B-12 or B-6). I have not been able to find a suggested dosage rate for B.


Calcium should only be considered as a supplement if your human is not feeding you bones as part of your diet. Ground egg shells and bone powder can be added in that case to make the appropriate meat-to-bone ratios. Let your human know that it can be dangerous to over-supplement calcium, so they should speak to your doctor before proceeding.

Kelp is a huge seaweed or algae that grows in nutrient-rich ocean waters. It can supply iodine, lots of minerals and amino acids to your diet. Powdered kelp can be given at 1/2 tsp per 10-20lbs of body weight.

Alfalfa contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E and K, and also has minerals. This can be given at 1 tsp per 10-20lbs.

Apple cider vinegar has been around as a dietary supplement for hundreds of years for humans, although its exact medicinal purposes are debated. It is suspected to aid in digestion, balance stomach acids, and provide a large series of minerals. If your human does purchase ACV, it should be unpasturized, organic and unfiltered (it should appear cloudy, not clear). This can be mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with honey, and given in your food or water. A general rule of thumb is a daily dose of 1/2 tsp for small dogs, 1 tsp for medium dogs, and 2 tsp for large dogs. It is important to note that ACV is very acidic, so it is highly recommended that it is mixed with another food to decrease the strength of the acid.

Digestive Additions

Probiotics can be a very important addition to your diet (and your human's too!). These can be found in specially prepared supplements, or in yogurts with live cultures. Probiotics are important in preserving the balance of good bacteria in your gut, and they aid in digestion and absorption of your feast. One heaping tsp of yogurt can be given for every 5lbs. If giving a prepared supplement follow the dosage guidelines on the package.

Enzymes are something our digestive systems produce naturally to break down our foods, however, for some of us we may not make enough. Many dogs (like my brother and I) need some extra enzymes added to our diet during the first few months on raw food, as our bodies adjust to the new types of feasts we are eating. Animal-based enzymes are best, so tell your human to avoid the vegan or vegetarian varieties that are available. There is an excellent enzyme mix available from B-Naturals online:

L-glutamine can help heal the digestive tract if you are suffering from numerous stomach upsets and other digestive issues, and it can also help an ill dog rebuild muscle tone. This can be given at 500mg for every 20lbs.


Garlic is an excellent addition to your veggie mush, and boy is it tasty. I think I'll eat almost anything that stinks like garlic. This tasty addition acts as an immune booster, antibiotic, and anti-parasitic. Go with what's tasty without going overboard.

Gloucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM -- these are commonly used for dogs with arthritis or other motion-related issues that cause pain. Please have your human consult your doctor for proper uses and dosages to address whatever problems you might have.

Co-enzyme Q10 is used to address a few specific problems, including gum disease and arthritis. A common dosage for this is 1-3mg per pound, but please check with your vet before including this supplement.

It may be easier for your human to purchase a pre-mixed powdered supplement that contains many of the above ingredients in their appropriate amounts. Again, I refer you to the B-Naturals website for these products.

Don't forget to have your human to their homework before starting a regimin of supplements!
I hope this gives them a good starting point.

Happy feasting.

Research for this section is from Lew Olson's K9Nutrition Yahoo! Group, "The BARF Diet" by Dr. Ian Billinghurst, and "Raw Dog Food" by Carina Beth MacDonald.

1 comment:

Emily said...

My very uneducated guess is if the pet is currently healthy, then his/her body is probably absorbing vitamins properly and doesn't need supplements and in fact supplements may just put things out of wack. (essentially, if it aint broke don't fix it, lol) and if the pet has health problems, then perhaps the pet may be having problems doing the right things with the vitamins and minerals and etc. so supplements may be helpful. A case by case basis really.

I didnt know that Vitamin E should be given with fish oil, thanks for that info as I plan to give fish oil.

I am hearing that kelp is good for thyroid function, so we plan on adding that as well.

For dogs with seizures taurine can be helpful. I am hearing some negative things about joint supplements for dogs with epilepsy.

Rosemary and sage should always be avoided in dogs with epilepsy.

I joined the K9 nutrition group, and am just awaiting approval. =)